Lafayette Township in northern Ohio gave up on a police force and joined a national trend in law enforcement, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The township contracted for police service with the Medina County sheriff, which can patrol it for half the price of the former police force. Robert Cornwell of the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association says that at least a dozen northeast Ohio communities have surrendered their local police forces and opted for county service, while other communities have combined their dispatch centers to cut costs. He says that “In their heyday, when cities were booming with money, having your own police department was a given. But the money is no longer there and city fathers have got to spend more wisely.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security supports consolidation as a more efficient way to combat terrorism and handle catastrophic disasters. Dispatch centers can be the first step. A federal study of Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, said combining 17 emergency dispatch centers would cut their $13.5 million operation in half. The state has also earmarked money to help Montgomery combine police forces.